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Inpatient vs Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

Substance Abuse Treatment

Outpatient substance abuse treatment is good for the busy person.

When you are dealing with a situation as complicated as substance abuse then probably the last thing you want to worry about is trying to decide between inpatient vs outpatient substance abuse treatment. You’re probably already confused about the two and wondering how to choose between inpatient vs outpatient substance abuse treatment programs to assure that you get the best treatment for your individual situation. What are the benefits of each program? How are the two programs different from one another? Are there any disadvantages? We’ve got all the answers for you so that you can make an informed decision between inpatient vs outpatient substance abuse treatment.

Benefits of Inpatient vs Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

Starting with the benefits will help you to better understand what makes one type of treatment better than the other. Inpatient substance abuse treatment has many benefits with the most profound benefit being that this type of treatment is most effective because individuals live at a facility where they eat, sleep and breath addiction treatment. There’s no getting away from the treatment in an inpatient substance abuse program, ever facet of the program is guided on the principles of addiction treatment and recovery.

Outpatient substance abuse treatment programs have the benefit of providing treatment to individuals who are still able to live at home with their families, maintain their jobs and be a part of the community. While this type of substance abuse treatment may not be suitable for everyone because it takes extreme willpower to continue to remain sober outside of an inpatient treatment program, outpatient substance abuse treatment programs do provide an adequate level of treatment for many people whose addictions are less complex or severe.

Disadvantages of Inpatient vs Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Unfortunately, there are disadvantages to each type of substance abuse treatment. For instance, in an inpatient substance abuse treatment program the disadvantage is that these programs can be costly and space is limited. Additionally, some inpatient substance abuse programs can last as long as 4 months which may be too long to stay away from family members, home and work for some individuals. While inpatient substance abuse programs do provide the best chance for a full recovery from addiction, they can be disruptive to the daily life of an individual who has a job, family or significant community ties.

Outpatient substance abuse treatment programs have the major disadvantage of forcing the addict to “fend for themselves” after hours which leaves many hours at a time open for the individual to be faced with triggers that could result in relapse. Outpatient substance abuse treatment programs cannot provide the same level of supervision as an inpatient program and this is likely to result in relapse for many individuals unless they have a very strong support system at home and are able to maintain their sobriety both at work and at home in between treatment.

Differences Between Inpatient vs Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

The primary differences between inpatient vs outpatient substance abuse treatment programs is the level of monitoring that is provided at each program. Inpatient substance abuse programs tend to be very invasive and intense, the addict will live at a residential facility for the duration of the treatment which usually lasts anywhere from a month to nearly a year and they are monitored by medical staff and counselors around the clock.

Outpatient substance abuse treatment programs cannot provide around the clock monitoring for the addict because at the end of the day the individual returns to their home to continue their recovery on their own. Outpatient substance abuse programs do not provide residential housing and they only offer limited monitoring through meetings, counseling sessions and drug testing. These programs are most suited for an individual who has already completed an inpatient program or for those who are dealing with less complex or severe addictions to drugs or alcohol.